Where can I get trustworthy pension advice?

Dan Moore / 12 February 2015 ( 04 April 2017 )

Pension advice: Should you buy an annuity with your pension fund, use income drawdown or invest in another product? Your pension advice questions answered…

These are just some of the questions you are likely to face at retirement, and to help you decide you will require expert guidance and pension advice.

Here are some tips on where to get all your retirement queries answered.

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In 2014 the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne announced that the government would provide pension savers with free and impartial advice on how to get the most out of their retirement fund. From April 2015 everyone is able to get independent and impartial information and guidance about pensions from Citizens Advice in England and Wales, Citizens Advice Scotland and the Northern Ireland Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux, as well as from The Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS).

In addition, you can also get pension advice from fee-charging financial advisers who are accredited and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Ensure you speak with one who specialises in pensions and retirement income advice, and ask upfront what they can offer you and how much the advice costs.

There are two main reasons for using a FCA-authorised pension adviser. They will be specialists in their field and, if they fail to give you the appropriate advice, you have some redress. This is vitally important given the potential sum involved and the fact that any decision you make is likely to be irreversible.

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What are the different types of pension?

How much will pension advice cost?

The advisory services, pledged by the government and offered by Citizens Advice and The Pensions Advisory Service from April, are free of charge to members of the public.

If you choose to use a professional financial adviser, you can expect to pay between £75 and £250 an hour for advice that is tailored to your individual needs.

It’s possible to get cheaper or even free restricted advice from your bank, but you should note that you’ll only be told about their own products.

How can I find a pension adviser?

There are several ways to find an adviser. You could ask family and friends for a recommendation. You could consult a newspaper, telephone directory or internet search engine or use a dedicated financial adviser search website, such as Unbiased, Find an Adviser and VouchedFor. These websites have searchable listings of financial advisers, enabling you to find one either in your local area or near your workplace.

You can also get further information from a group that represents advisers such as IFA Centre or the Association of Professional Financial Advisers (APFA).

Whichever way you find an adviser, it is recommended that you speak to at least two or three, in order to compare their services and prices before committing to meeting one.

Do you need a financial adviser?

Preparing for a pension advice meeting

You will need to prepare for any meeting you have with a pension adviser, so ensure you are armed with the following information. You should be prepared to disclose your age and details about your health, your marital status, whether you have children and their age, the rate of income tax you pay, assets you hold, and your income and typical outgoings.

You can add to this your attitude to risk – as this will make all the difference when it comes to selecting an appropriate investment vehicle (if that’s the direction you choose to take). 

The better prepared you are, the more swiftly and smoothly the pension advice process will go.

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A final word

Your accumulated pension fund must last you throughout your retirement, so deciding what to do with it is one of the most important financial decisions you will make. 

It’s also the reason why it is essential to seek professional guidance or advice. At the very least, you should speak to TPAS by calling 0300 123 1047.

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The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.